September 28, 2011
For Immediate Release
Parents urged to have ongoing safety conversations with their children
Winnipeg, MB: - In light of recent child abduction attempts in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is encouraging parents and guardians to have important safety conversations with their children to ensure they know how to react if faced with such a situation.
"While stranger abduction is very rare, what is happening right now in Gatineau shows that it is still a very real risk our kids face," said Noni Classen, Director of Education for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. "We need to empower children and build their competency in using safety strategies. It's essential that parents set time aside to have important conversations with their kids so they in turn know what to do if faced with such a situation."
Classen urged parents to visit the Canadian Centre's Kids in the Know website (kidsintheknow.ca) for information on current, research-based child personal safety strategies, such as: "If asked to go and your parents don't know - shout NO" and "Shout NO! Run - tell someone."
"Children should be taught that they must always have their parents' permission before going anywhere. Like the Gatineau situation shows, some adults will try to trick kids and lure them into going with them," said Classen.
She also urged educators at every grade level to use the Kids in the Know safety education program, which uses effective and current research-based safety strategies to provide kids with the tools and skills they need to reduce their risk of victimization. This program is the only one of its kind in Canada that spans kindergarten to high school that address both personal safety and sexual exploitation in real world and online environments.
"If we want to reduce our children's risk of victimization, then safety education must become an integrated part of their life," said Classen. "No community is free from individuals who want to abuse and exploit our children. As parents, educators and community leaders - we all have to step up, do more and start making safety education an ongoing dialogue in our homes, our schools and in our communities."
If you are a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact our communications team:
Communications, Canadian Centre for Child Protection